Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie opened up about her life and thoughts on motherhood in a candid new interview. Despite her current brood of six children, the By the Sea star said she never wanted to be a mother – until a life-changing trip to Cambodia made her think differently.
Jolie visited Southeast Asian country 16 years ago to film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider — and that first exposure to victims of land mines, poverty and oppression led her to become a U.N. goodwill ambassador the next year.
“That trip triggered my realisation of how little I knew and the beginning of my search for that knowledge,” she told the Associated Press.
She then went on to say subsequent a visit to a Cambodian school gave her an even greater epiphany: she wanted to be a mother.
“It’s strange, I never wanted to have a baby,” said Jolie. “I never wanted to be pregnant. I never babysat. I never thought of myself as a mother. But while playing with children at a Cambodian school, “it was suddenly very clear to me that my son was in the country, somewhere.”
She adopted Maddox in 2002, and a year later opened a foundation in his name.
A few years later, she brought home her daughter Zahara, now 11, from Ethiopia. In 2007, she and her then-future husband, Brad Pitt, adopted Pax, now 12, from Vietnam. The couple, who married in August 2014, also share three biological children: Daughter Shiloh, 9, and twins Vivienne and Knox, 7.
Soon afterwards Jolie took a deliberate step back from her career to focus on raising her family, her health issues and her inspiring humanitarian efforts; she has frequently called for action in the Middle East, drawing media attention through her role as a Special Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, among other projects.
The star said she felt it important to explain her connection to the country which she said had such a life-altering affect on her. She has returned to Cambodia to make the “most important film” of her career. Entitled First They Killed My Father, the movie is based on a Khmer Rouge memoir written by survivor Loung Ung that recounts the 1970s Cambodian genocide from a child’s perspective.
This isn’t the first time Jolie had decided to be refreshingly open about her personal life; it was in a powerful op-ed in the New York Times that she revealed she had undergone a double mastectomy and had surgery to have her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed.
Her new film is expected to premiere in Cambodia at the end of the year, before its release on Netflix.
Via Associated Press